'It was personal': Rep. Laddie Shaw speaks on Senate vote
House Rep. Laddie Shaw, R-Anchorage, said he felted snubbed by a vote that knocked him out of the running to fill the vacant seat of late Sen. Chris Birch. Shaw said he believes the vote by Senate Republicans was set long before Thursday's official vote.
Shaw said that's because he hasn't backed down on his stance that Alaskans deserve a $3,000 Permanent Fund Dividend. Birch advocated for a much smaller PFD and Shaw said it was the only issue the two lawmakers disagreed on.
"There's no question it was personal, without a doubt," he said.
Shaw said the six senators who voted against him didn’t take into account his long-time service to the state.
“I was a former director of Veteran’s Affairs, former director of Police Standards. I served the state for 20 years. I served in uniform for 24 years and none of that counted," he said. “The fact that I stood on a $3,000 dividend — it either offended them or they didn’t want me to be part of their caucus.”
Shaw needed seven Senate Republicans to vote to confirm him but the count was six to six. He said everyone who voted for him had contacted him personally to express their disappointment.
As of Friday morning, no one who voted against him had reached out.
Shaw said despite it all he was glad to be going back to his seat in the House where he gets along very well with fellow Republicans as well as members of the Democratic majority. He said at this point, he's over it.
“I lost the battle but in the end I feel like I won the war because that House seat is just so exciting to be in,” he said.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy has ten days from the vote to nominate a new candidate for Birch’s seat in Senate District M. The Alaska Republican Party originally selected Shaw, former Sen. Dave Donley and Albert Fogle as candidates for Birch's seat. Others interested in succeeding Birch included House Rep. Josh Revak, Birch’s daughter Tali Birch Kindred and Beans Café Executive Director Lisa Sauder.
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